Friday, July 20, 2007

Recent "Chief Digital Officer" appointments

Rapp Collins' Pomeranz Joins Growing CDO Ranksby Gavin O'Malley, Friday, Jul 20, 2007 6:00 AM ETRAPP

COLLINS WORLDWIDE, OMNICOM'S DIRECT-MARKETING agency, has named Ricardo Pomeranz global chief digital officer, reporting directly to Gary VonKennel, Rapp Collins global CEO.  Along with his existing duties as president and partner of Rapp Digital--a division of Rapp Collins Brazil founded in 2000--Pomeranz will now crisscross the globe in search of digital talent to lead the agency into the 21st century. "I will spend a lot more time on a plane," joked Pomeranz in reference to Rapp Collins' network of more than 50 offices in 30 countries worldwide. "We're looking to build a team with digital expertise from around the world, and aggregate the best resources into one vision for the future of the agency." Although Pomeranz admits there is plenty of work to be done, he insists that no agency has yet taken a clear digital lead.

"The communication model is taking another form, with customers talking instead of being talked to," he said. "No one is addressing this issue of managing these new relationships properly." At least on the surface, one sign that agencies are addressing such issues is the recent rash in chief digital officer appointments.

This ostensibly new breed of executive is being asked to bring together once disparate interactive initiatives, and then to integrate that broader digital strategy into their agencies' core principles.

In May, Havas' Arnold bestowed the fashionable title upon Jonathan Sackett, who had previously served as senior vice president and director of digital operations at Interpublic Group's DraftFCB in Chicago. Also that month, Young & Rubicam named Tarik Sedky to the CDO position of a new interactive division. In April, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners picked up Tribal DDB executive Mike Parker as its director of digital strategy, while Jean-Philippe Maheu, the one-time chief executive of Razorfish, was named CDO of WPP Group's Ogilvy North America. Late last year, Wieden + Kennedy brought on Renny Gleeson as its global director of digital strategies. Gleeson came over from Carat Fusion in New York, where he served as senior vice president, managing director.

Gavin O'Malley can be reached at

buzz this